Niese Struggles, Mets Lose 5-4 in Extras…

Jonathon Niese was hit hard, and the Mets could hardly come up with a string of timely hits in their 5-4 extra-inning loss to the Reds.

Game Notes:

Jonathon Niese was hit hard, going six innings, allowing four runs, twelve hits including giving up a couple of homers. The only saving grace for Niese all night was his ability to stay away from the walk, and that was evident in his propensity to give up hits today. Is this a regression? No, but Jonathon just may have not been on the same page as Henry Blanco in terms of a game plan.

The Mets bullpen, or primarily Hisanori Takahashi, came out and did exactly what he’s been doing all year with another solid performance; eating innings and striking out batters. Takahashi went three perfect innings, striking out four. He is up to 26 strikeouts in 18.2 innings on the year.

Pedro Feliciano, who was brought in for the bottom of the 10th promptly gave up a home run to righty Orlando Cabrera off the foul pole. Pedro has had success against righties this year, but still a questionable bullpen move from Jerry Manuel. Further it was Feliciano’s fourth straight day of work.

The Mets bats were quiet. Angel Pagan and David Wright accounted for half of the team’s hits. The Mets scored in the 3rd when Alex Cora was walked in by Johnny Cueto. Jose Reyes got an RBI groundout in the 5th, scoring Angel Pagan. David Wright, still striking out a fair deal, hit an opposite field home run for his 7th dinger of the year in the 6th inning. David is just three home runs away from matching his total last year. Jeff Francoeur, who had the day off, pinch-hit and drew a walk, then hit the tying sacrifice fly in the 9th inning scoring Frank Catalanotto

Ike Davis had another tough day at the plate, going 1-4 with 3 K’s. The growing pains will continue, as they are pitching Ike hard and away, and he is looking feeble on those pitches.

Jason Bay is still slumping, but in defense of the whole Mets team – Johnny Cueto is the Reds’ Oliver Perez – when he is good, he’s real good. When he is bad, you have a field day.

Game Ball:

Hisanori Takahashi takes it in this one. He has become such an integral part of Jerry Manuel’s sweatshop bullpen, but he will face all batters, and does well against them all. His 3 innings of scoreless ball kept the Mets in the game.

On Deck:

The Mets have off Thursday, but travel back to Citi Field and send Mike Pelfrey to the hill against the San Francisco Giants and Jonathan Sanchez. Game time is 7:10 PM